As the season changes so may some of our health and safety concerns.
Fall is here and the days are getting shorter. With less hours of daylight, many of us may get less physical activity. We may also spend more time snacking in front of the television, or eating bigger meals as the festive season gets underway. The beginning of fall also signals the start of cold and flu season. Our children are back in school or daycare, which is not only a change in routine, but can also increase the risk of spreading germs. As our regular routines and activities change, so will our health concerns. It is important you have the information you need to take care of yourself and your family and to continue to eat healthy and stay active.
For information on how to stay safe and healthy this fall, click on the links below.
During cold and flu season many people have questions about using antibiotics when they are sick. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and can treat infections such as strep throat or sinus infections. They do not work against illnesses caused by a virus such as the common cold or the flu. Click on the links below to learn more.
- Bronchitis: Should I take Antibiotics?
- Ear Infection: Should I Give My Child Antibiotics?
- Prescription Medicines - Antibiotics
- Sinusitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Sore Throat: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Using Antibiotics Wisely
For more information about using antibiotics, visit BC Centre for Disease Control – Do Bugs Needs Drugs?
As the temperatures drop it is important to understand what cold exposure is, and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Click on the links below to learn more.
- Cold Exposure: Ways the Body Loses Heat
- Cold Temperature Exposure
- Dry Skin and Itching
- Hypothermia and Cold Temperature Exposure
The flu is an infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza virus. Every year there is a period of time where there are more outbreaks of the flu, this is called flu season. For more information about the flu and flu season, visit our Influenza (Flu) Season health feature.
During the fall season, there are always lots of new and fun foods to try at farmers markets and fall fairs. In addition, ours kids are spending more time eating out of the house as they return to school or day care. For information on how to make sure the food you and your family are eating is safe, click on the links below.
- Food Safety: Easy Steps to Make Food Safe (HealthLinkBC File #59a)
- Food Safety for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (HealthLinkBC File #59b)
- Food Safety in Child Care Facilities (HealthLinkBC File #59d)
- Food Safety in Children Older than 1 Year: General Information
- Unpasteurized Fruit Juices and Ciders: A Potential Health Risk (HealthLinkBC File #72)
There is a lot of fun to be had during Halloween, but it is also important that you keep your family safe and healthy. Click on the links below for more information.
- Added Sugars
- Food Safety: Following the Package Instructions
- Choking Prevention in Small Children
- Tooth Decay
Spending more time indoors and at home might make you open that refrigerator more often. For information on how to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, click on the links below.
- Healthy Eating Guidelines For Lower Sodium (Salt) Eating
- Heart Healthy Tips for Celebrations
- Healthy Snacks for Adults (HealthLinkBC File #68i)
- Meal and Snack Ideas for Your 1 to 3 Year Old Child (HealthLinkBC File #69e)
- One Ingredient at a Time: How to Lighten Up Your Holiday Recipes
Indoor Air Quality
With shorter daylight hours and with colder outdoor temperature, you will likely be spending more time indoors. To learn more about indoor air quality, click on the links below.
- Indoor Air Quality (HealthLinkBC File #65a)
- Indoor Air Quality: Mould and Other Biological Contaminants (HealthLinkBC File #65b)
- Indoor Air Quality: Combustion By-products (HealthLinkBC File #65c)
- Indoor Air Quality: Volatile Organic Compounds (HealthLinkBC File #65d)
Make sure to test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly, and replace the batteries every 6 months. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when you set the clock back (in the fall) or forward (in the spring). Click on the links below to learn more.
School and Day Care
With children back in school and in day care, the spread of germs, viruses and bacteria is likely to increase. To learn how to protect your family and yourself, click on the links below.
- B.C. Immunization Schedules
- Hand Washing for Parents and Children (HealthLinkBC File #85)
- Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HealthLinkBC File #64)
- Head Lice (HealthLinkBC File #06)
- Petting Zoo and Open Farm Visits (HealthLinkBC File #61b)
For more information about how to help your child stay safe and learn healthy lifestyle habits this school year, visit our Back To School health feature.
Don’t let the dark and cold nights keep you from staying active. Physical activity is a key factor in keeping you and your family healthy. Click on the links below to learn how simple and fun activities can keep you healthy.
- Fitness: Adding More Activity to Your Life
- Quick Tips: Getting Active as a Family
- Quick Tips: Getting Active at Home
- Quick Tips: Staying Active in Cold Weather
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. They provide provincial and national leadership in public health through surveillance, detection, prevention and consultation. For information about the use of antibiotics when you are sick, click on the link below.
Healthy Canadians is a Government of Canada website that provides reliable, easy-to-understand health and safety information for the Canadian public and health professionals. For information on how to keep your family safe and healthy during the Halloween season, click on the link below.
Healthy Families BC
The Healthy Families BC website encourages families to work together to create healthier lives, schools, communities and workplaces for all British Columbians. The website provides practical tips on health and learning, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices. Click on the links below to learn more.
ImmunizeBC works to improve the health of British Columbians and reduce the number of infections by vaccine-preventable diseases by providing information on immunizations to individuals, families, and health care providers. They also provide tools to make it easier for B.C. families to get immunized. To learn more, click on the links below.
- A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination (PDF 1.72 MB)
- Get immunization reminders by text message!
Last Reviewed: September 2016